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ReligionMiddle East

Jesus - What is the True Story of the Messiah?

March 13, 2024

Did Jesus, revered by Christians as the Son of God, really exist? Historians and archaeologists search for clues that might lead them to the historical figure of Jesus.

DW Dokumentationen | Jesus - Auf den Spuren des Messias
Image: Kwanza

Can their efforts solve a conundrum that goes back more than 2,000 years, and fascinates so many to this day?

DW Dokumentationen | Jesus - Auf den Spuren des Messias
Image: Kwanza

For more than two billion Christians he is the son of God, sacrificed on the cross. The resurrected Messiah, his birth is held to be so important that it marks the starting point in the Gregorian calendar used in many parts of the world today. He is the cornerstone of Christianity, a figure whose story has evolved in accordance with the creed built by the churches over a period of 2,000 years. 

Not until the 18th century and the Enlightenment was the question of an historical Jesus really explored. Beyond the religious discourse, who was Jesus really? A man of flesh and blood? Did the central figure in this religion really exist? Believers answer this question by reading the Gospels, the ancient accounts of the life of Jesus.

DW Dokumentationen | Jesus - Auf den Spuren des Messias
Image: Kwanza

But how much historical credibility can be attributed to texts written several decades after Jesus's death? Particularly given that the four official Gospels contradict each other on many points. The researchers question many of the things we think we know about Jesus: Was he really born on December 25th? What was his life like before he began preaching? What is the exact location of his tomb? Today, by examining historical evidence found in Israel, Egypt and Jordan, then harnessing cutting-edge science, can historians finally manage to reveal the mysteries of Jesus's life?


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